Most of the narrative around addiction in the media focuses on the tragedies. Stories about people who succumbed to addiction make for much more drama than stories of hope and forgiveness. We are therefore more likely to hear about a celebrity going into rehab than coming out sober. Unfortunately, we are also more likely to hear about overdoses than successful recovery.
This is often true with musicians as well, who make a lot of great music about their struggles with addiction. However, there are many famous singers who have beaten addiction and gone on to make moving, hopeful music.
The following 3 famous singers have beaten addiction, giving us some incredible songs in the process.
Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Red Hot Chili Peppers have been making music for almost four decades. But the band’s existence could have been cut short if Anthony Kiedis had not successfully battled heroin addiction. Original guitarist, Hillel Slovak, sadly died of a heroin overdose in 1987. Kiedis describes in his autobiography Scar Tissue how the death of his friend impacted him. It was one of a number of turning points that helped him eventually find his way to recovery.
The song Under The Bridge is one of the band’s most honest and beautiful songs about addiction.
Demi Lovato’s struggles with addiction have been well-documented, for better or worse. A major factor in her personal battles has always been the public nature of her personal life, from when she was a child star until now. Lovato has had a long and complex recovery story. In 2018, she revealed that she had relapsed, releasing the incredible song Sober. Shortly after that, she overdosed.
Thankfully, she has since recovered, recently gifting us with the gorgeous Anyone, a moving track which is also a call for help.
For a great movie that deals with themes of addiction, watch the recent Elton John biopic Rocketman. The movie itself is quite a lot of fun at times, with Taron Egerton doing a great job of playing a young Elton John, both in the acting and singing department. Sir Elton John publicly battled addiction for a long time, suffering an overdose in 1975. However, he recovered and became an advocate for people struggling with addiction.
The song My Elusive Drug is a sweet ballad about finding love that once seemed impossible.